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E-M:/ Posthumus wants Constitutional Amendment for Right to Farm



Title:

In yesterday's Adrian Daily Telegram, a side by side questionnaire for Dick Posthumus and Jennifer Granholm quotes Mr. Posthumus saying he wants to pass "a constitutional amendment to guarantee Michigan's right to farm"  and "voluntary, incentive-driven environmental stewardship programs" (actual paragraph from article below). 

"As governor, I will address these issues by supporting policies and programs that allow Michigan agriculture to be profitable again: a constitutional amendment to tax farm land at its agricultural value instead of its developmental value; voluntary, incentive-driven environmental stewardship programs; passing a constitutional amendment to guarantee Michigan's right to farm; and build the future of Michigan agriculture by supporting the FFA and 4-H programs for the benefit of Michigan youth."

So, does this mean that Mr. Posthumus wants the constitution to include the three strikes provision of the current Right to Farm Act (copied here):

"286.474(4) A complainant who brings more than 3 unverified complaints against the same farm or farm operation within 3 years may be ordered, by the director, to pay to the department the full costs of investigation of any fourth or subsequent unverified complaint against the same farm or farm operation. As used in this subsection, "unverified complaint" means a complaint in response to which the director determines that the farm or farm operation is using generally accepted agricultural and management practices."

What about the preemption of local control over the siting of any agricultural operations, including massive animal factories (see section below) -- will Mr. Posthumus's constitutional amendment lock in this assault on the ability of communities to protect the air they breathe, the water they drink, the value of their property, etc.?

"286.474(6) Beginning June 1, 2000, except as otherwise provided in this section, it is the express legislative intent that this act preempt any local ordinance, regulation, or resolution that purports to extend or revise in any manner the provisions of this act or generally accepted agricultural and management practices developed under this act. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a local unit of government shall not enact, maintain, or enforce an ordinance, regulation, or resolution that conflicts in any manner with this act or generally accepted agricultural and management practices developed under this act."

Does this mean as well that as Governor Mr. Posthumus would seek to undercut the NPDES (water quality) general permit for animal factories that at long last and after years of Michigan's defiance of the federal Clean Water Act is about to be put out for public comment?  Is Dick Posthumus proposing that as we barely are making one step forward addressing this severe and growing pollution problem that we make two or more steps back??

Anne Woiwode
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Anne Woiwode, Staff Director, Sierra Club Mackinac Chapter
109 East Grand River Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48906
517-484-2372; fax 517-484-3108  anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org
visit the Mackinac Chapter on the web at
http://michigan.sierraclub.org